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July 22, 2013 / Brandon

Regent Square Apartments Looking Good, Inglewood

Regent Square Apartments Looking Good, Inglewood

The Developer asked us to make sure that the Regent Square Apartments in Inglewood complied with our plans.

We already knew that the last time we came out to the job site that the apartments looked great. But the grading was still not completed so we went to the completed Civil Engineering project over the weekend to take a look. I always get this site backwards as walking up and down the streets, Regent and Florence. Probably because after looking at the site plan and grading plans so much that a project that almost takes up a block, the streets become oblivious to me. So we started on Regent and made our way down the sidewalk looking at everything that we designed. Like I mentioned, I already saw the site in nearly completed construction stage and the lot looked good. I also know that the developer, Chandler Partners, does not mess around on these projects. Their guy in charge of the in-house builder is really old school, and every single time I talk to him I can’t believe what I learn and hear. The amount of projects built along with him just rattling off whatever random codes people want to talk to him about, he is all over it. So I wasn’t expecting anything to be done wrong. In fact this is one of those rare jobs where the grading was pretty much built to plan.

Making our way down the sidewalk I am always looking for the drains peaking out through the curb face. I love seeing how any property drains, whether B+W Engineering massaged the land or not. As anyone who meets me will tell you, I am really soft spoken, but when it comes to engineering or grading, I love this stuff like a little kid who just tossed his bike’s training wheels in the garbage, and I will come to life talking about the subject of Civil Engineering.

So after my excitement of seeing the first curb drain we looked for the catch basin that the curb drain connects to. From the plans the roof downspouts are all tied to catch basins. So this is important to find. First catch basin seen and a couple more to go. The overall design idea on this project is that the building takes up the entire lot. So the downspouts catch the majority of onsite water. From there they travel to a large perforated pipe to infiltrate stormwater into the ground. If the stormwater is ever to great the water will overflow first hitting the invert elevation of the curb drain and overflow into the street. In the worst case storm, the catch basin will overflow and run over the landscape over the sidewalk and into the street. We generally aren’t too worried about drainage on our projects as there are is at least one failsafe, and if possible two failsafes in case we get some amazing storm coming in.

On a tangent, I just watched a movie called Sharknado, and I will be making a post with my thoughts on that monstrosity to basic laws of physics. I think from this point on I will always be wondering about future projects, well what would happen if a hurricane hit Southern California, and in turn brought three tornados of sharks raining down on the landscape. How would we handle that? But that’s neither here nor there or anywhere in any form of reality.

So we walk around the apartments and find all of the drains. The landscaping looks nice and new, and everything is at it should be. Except one catch basin. This one catch basin made me laugh as it sticks out of the ground collecting no water. I had to come back and immediately look at the plans. Did we have a bust in our numbers? Turns out there was no bust. But since the drainage devices are built before grading, if the grades aren’t to plan, the drainage devices won’t be right. For this catch basin, the idea was to have about a foot higher grade with a gentle slope against the sidewalk. The buildout instead made the landscaping more level to the street. No big deal as everything still works as intended, and I know the builder knows this. But still amusing nonetheless. Maybe not so much to the owner of the property as now there is a maintenance covenant saying that the owner will replace the fossil filters in each catch basin on a routine basis. This one particular catch basin is pointless to have a fossil filter in now. Not so amusing to the bean counters I am sure.

In the end the Regent Square Apartments in Inglewood turned out great. The project really makes the surroundings so much better. In fact next door someone is already flipping a craftsman style house. I love seeing projects like this go in as it does signal an upgrade in the community and is great for everyone. I am glad to say us as Civil Engineers, B+W Engineering and Design are very happy with how this project turned out.

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